Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 14.12.2016.| 15:55
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Dusko Radovic, CEO of Transfera – Our strength is in people

Dusko Radovic
Dusko Radovic
The company Transfera has placed among the leading logistics companies in Serbia in only three years. Financial indicators, the number of employees and their offices nominate them for the fastest growing company in the logistics market in Serbia.

Dusko Radovic, CEO of Transfera, says in his interview for eKapija that the results made in the past three years are due to the implementation of modern technologies and the policy of employing young engineers.

Radovic also says that they have big plans for the coming period and announced the opening of new offices, as well as the construction of a logistics center.

eKapija: What have Transfera`s results been in the past period?

– Transfera started operating in 2013. Our operating income at the end of 2016 amounts to EUR 14.5 million, our customs warranty is close to EUR 2 million, we have more than a hundred employees, twelve offices in Serbia, forty-five young engineers and a large network of subcontractors. I`m free to say that our exponential growth has brought us into the position of a recognizable company in the logistics market and a reliable partner. Many are surprised by how quickly Transfera has managed to build that kind of image. I`d like like to quote a basketball coach who once said – It`s all normal. To us at at Transfera, it really is. The growth didn`t occur by itself, but as a result of the effort and the work of each Transfera employee. It`s more important to us to keep improving and building the company through the synergy of our employees than what our financial results are. This synergy is our greatest success.

eKapija: Which results have led to such a large growth?

– It`s certainly down to the people, the standards we operate by, as well as the investments. In choosing our work force, we`ve managed to establish a balance between young and energetic people and experts with great knowledge and experience. I`d like to point out that a recognizable and strong team has brought new strength and service quality to our clients and contributed to our growth. On the other hand, we`ve brought our operations in line with the standards ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001, which entail honoring regulations, reliability of services, availability and quickness of response... We have invested in the education of our employees, in opening offices throughout Serbia, as well as in an integrated information system. Our software solution Trans2Open is compatible with various platforms, such as: EDI, SKYTRACK and WMS – electronic data exchange, automatized process of data sharing with the software solutions of commercial banks etc. A quicker flow of information within our company means the improvement of our services as well and, finally, a greater satisfaction of our clients. This is why investing in development is our permanent orientation.

eKapija: You highlight your team as your greatest strength. How many people do you employ? What is the employee structure like?

– We believe that our strength lies in our employees. We are dedicated to them, they have our support and are free to develop and work in a professionally challenging environment. We enable them to express their potential and build a successful career. Our employment policy is perhaps a little unusual in this market, as we are oriented toward young people without experience. We provide them with an opportunity to get to know our company during their studies through practical work and realistic situations which await them both personally and professionally. The results of such an approach are shown quickly through people`s tendency to accept the company as their own, to sign employment contracts after the internship period. In turn, Transfera gets employees who have internalized the company`s values and standards. We currently employ more than 100 people, half of which are university educated people.

eKapija: Your headquarters are located in Belgrade. In which cities do you have offices?

– Our mission is to be close to our clients. We have opened several offices in Belgrade, so we are present in all Belgrade Customs Offices. By opening offices in Odzaci, Novi Sad and Sremska Mitrovica, we have spread to Vojvodina, and the offices in Kragujevac and Krusevac cover the central Serbia. We are planning to open an additional 4 offices in 2017 and cover all regional centers in Serbia.

eKapija: You have been present in the sector of transport and logistics for more than two decades. Year by year, the logistics operations are expanding considerably. Which services can Transfera offer to its clients today?

– The focus of our business activities is international transport. Although road transport dominates, our air and water transport are developed as well. I`d like to point out that we have a strong network of customs agents. Of course, our storage and manipulation services round up the concept of integrated service as a complete logistics solution offered to our current and potential clients.

eKapija: Transfera has experience in providing logistics services to production and industrial companies, especially in the car industry. What kind of demands are you able to meet?

– New trends in the car industry dictate keeping the stock at zero and delivering goods and processed materials just in time and just in sequence. This requires high-level logistics and an efficient supply chain.

Due to increasingly more complex demands from clients from the car industry, we have developed and implemented the TS-Automotive service. The special “Automotive Team” was formed within the company and is available to clients 24/7. We are client-oriented and we cooperate in finding the best tailor-made solutions.

The service encompasses dedicated vehicles, special courier deliveries, charter cargo flights, customs clearance and up to 24 shipment status reports a day per client request.

eKapija: Do you have experience abroad as well?

Dusko Radovic with an associate
Dusko Radovic with an associate
– We cover 7-8 countries in the region with our network of business associates. We have partners in the countries of the European Union which are leaders in their respective markets. We organize numerous groupage routes and improve our service in partnership with them.

eKapija: There are several international logistics companies and large number of local ones in Serbia. The market is small. What are your advantages compared to the competition?

– According to our capacities, the number of employees and our revenues, we belong to the category of medium-sized companies, which we point out as an advantage. I`d say that our market is polarized. There are large companies, and then there are those with small capacities. We are large enough to be able to meet all demands by our clients, both financially and in terms of organization. On the other hand, unlike the largest companies, we are sufficiently flexible and focused, which is evident to our clients through our dedication and care.

eKapija: What are you plans for the coming period?

– In the coming period, we are planning to open new offices, expand the range of services and raise a logistics center. In 2017, we will prepare a financial plan and an analysis and further develop the project of the logistics center accordingly.

eKapija: In the past years, you have been very active in humanitarian projects. Tell us something more about this.

– Even though making profit is every company`s goal, we believe that it is necessary to establish a balance between the business results and the company`s social activities. We wish to transfer our values and convictions clearly to our employees and partners, as well as to our clients and the public.

In the past years, we have paid attention to children and cultural activities. I would like to point out our partnership with the Center for Protection of Infants, Children and Youth in Belgrade. The center has pointed us to numerous children`s homes and shelters for abused children. In addition to the financial help in procuring the necessary equipment and equipping sports courts, we had an opportunity to meet the children and participate in their sports competitions, which is even more important. Their smiling faces are an added incentive for the company to turn such meetings into a regular practice.

Furthermore, the company is involved in numerous campaigns for aiding children with rare diseases.

We are proud to say that Transfera is the first sponsor of the documentary film Heavenly Team, about the life and work of Vlada Divljan, which will premiere next year.

eKapija: Tell us something more about Transfera`s cooperation with the scientific community.

– It`s very important for us to have good relations with educational institutions. Thanks to our cooperation with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, their best students are provided with an opportunity to practice and work at Transfera. This way, we`re getting quality, educated people.

We have also cooperated with the Faculty of Organizational Sciences in Belgrade in organizing activities and systematizing operations within the company.

At the end of this year, Transfera started cooperating with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has provided us with access to programs of hiring foreign consultants, who are going to work on improving the company`s operating and financial processes over a long period of time.

In general, Transfera insists on constant learning and development, which pertains to both the company and its employees and the individual skills and knowledge of each of them, and specialized institutions are the best at transferring knowledge. I`d also like to note that, in addition to internal training programs, we organize seminars and professional development programs run by eminent lecturers. This brings us back to what I mentioned at the beginning of the interview – Transfera`s competitive advantage is in its employees, and investing in these resources is always a formula for success.

Milica Milosavljevic
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